Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023 |
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Hurricane Darby weakened to a Category 2 storm Tuesday as it trekked west toward the Central Pacific.
As of Tuesday evening, Darby was spinning 110 mph winds and tracking west at 17 mph approximately 1,500 miles east of Hilo, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, which will monitor the storm until it crosses 140 degrees west longitude, at which time the Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu will assume the role. On Monday evening, Darby was a Category 4 hurricane circulating 140 mph winds.
Hurricane-force winds Tuesday evening extended outward from the center of the storm up to 10 miles while tropical-storm force winds reached outward up to 45 miles.
Additional weakening is forecast, but Darby is expected to remain a hurricane through Wednesday evening, before weakening to a tropical storm by Thursday night after crossing into the Central Pacific earlier in the day. The system is forecast to become a post-tropical cyclone by Friday night some 500 miles east of Hilo.
The National Weather Service in May predicted another weak hurricane season. Forecasters said there was a 60% chance of lower-than-normal tropical storm activity, and only a 10% chance of higher-than-normal activity.
Only two to four tropical cyclones are anticipated to form or move into the Central Pacific this hurricane season, which is even fewer than the NWS predicted last year.
In 2021, the NWS predicted two to five cyclones, but only one actually developed.
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